Mar 18, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Gulf between Asian central banks on climate rhetoric and action

Data: Study of 18 central banks and monetary authorities from the Asia-Pacific region conducted in Q2 2019; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Study of 18 central banks and monetary authorities from the Asia-Pacific region conducted in Q2 2019; Chart: Axios Visuals

Most Asian central banks and other monetary facilities say finance into low-carbon areas is important — but most have also not issued any policies on the matter.

Why it matters: Asia is where the biggest growth and most future carbon emissions are coming from, so what monetary organizations there are doing — and not doing — will have an outsized impact on both climate change itself and the transition to cleaner energy sources.

How it works: The South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN), a group based in Malaysia, sent a survey to its 35 members, associate members and observers, with 18 responding.

What they’re saying:

The current coronavirus crisis will hopefully reinforce the point that the financial sector faces non-traditional risks that need to be mitigated, and that central banks need to develop their prudential frameworks to this effect. We have already missed the opportunity to implement sustainable crisis responses during the 2008-09 crisis. We should not waste another crisis.”
— Ulrich Volz, co-author and expert on sustainable finance at SOAS University of London

What I'm watching: To what degree Asian countries, especially China, prioritize fossil fuels and/or cleaner energy technologies in any economic stimulus packages they consider.

Go deeper